Karachi: Jewellery exports plunged by over 75 per cent to $219 million in July-December 2013-14 from $970m in the same period last fiscal year.
However, imports of yellow metal swelled by 92pc in quantity and 45pc in value to around 4,000 kg ($162 million) during the first six months of this fiscal year compared to 2,042 kg ($111m) in July-December 2012-13, figures released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed on Wednesday.
The government has again imposed a temporary ban of 30 days on the import of gold under SRO760 and its commercial imports under Import Policy Order 2013 effective from January 20. Earlier the government suspended gold imports for 30 days on July 28, 2013.
The import is banned citing gold smuggling to India where duty on import of gold has been increased. The decision, the government believes, will help curb smuggling without affecting the legitimate demand-supply position of gold in the country. The exports, however, will continue without any restriction.
There is no question of involvement of jewellery manufacturers and exporters in devaluing the rupee against the dollar, stresses Chairman All Pakistan Gem Merchants and Jewellers Association (APGMJA) Habib-Ur-Rahman.
The issue of gold smuggling and consequent pressure on the open forex market was raised by the Foreign Exchange Companies in recent meetings with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar both in Karachi and a follow up meeting at Islamabad.
According to the SRO 760 of 2013, gold jewellery makers and exporters have only imported 76 kg of gold out of which 50 kg of gold jewellery has so far been exported, whereas jewellery of the remaining 26 kg is under process of manufacturing.
Rahman rejected the allegation that the industry had imported 4,000 kg of gold and only 1,000kg of gold jewellery had yet been exported or that the 4,000 kg gold was purchased by the jewellery makers and exporters and US dollar was utilised for the purchase of said gold.